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South America » Peru » Cusco » Cusco » Cusco April 18th 2014

Yep, just when I thought I had escaped the dreaded altitude sickness it hit me! Icky headache on day 3, which I thought was to do with not wearing my new hat while playing with the kids at the 3-4 yr olds project. Turns out that, combined with an a very unsettled stomach, lack of appetite and tiredness, I needed to slow down and rest. So that's what I did all yesterday and today felt much better. Walked into the main shopping area near our home and noticed how easily I lost my breath due to the altitude. Everyone says it will be fine in a few days so looking forward to that. The 4 British girls and I went into the Plaza de Armas on Monday night to be part of the huge festival that ... read more
Statue of the White Christ from the Plaza De Armas
Lights of Cusco
My new friends

South America » Argentina » Tierra del Fuego » Ushuaia April 17th 2014

Rough, rugged and remote Ushuaia sits on the tip of the island of Tierra del Fuego and was full of adventure. I hiked up to the glacier that backs the town, getting stuck in deep snow, and then got lost in the national park as the sun was fading. In the late April off-season, there was no one around--I had to rescue myself. Even more intense, I learned that the indigenous Yamana who lived in this sub-zero icebox wore no clothes because the constant rain and snow would have soaked them--yikes. A land of extremes. Extremes indeed, as Ushuaia was the southern end of the Andes/Rocky Mountain chain and of the Pan-American highway, both of which begin in Alaska. It's the southern-most city in the Americas, sitting on the Isla Grande, the Big Island of the ... read more
Tierra del Fuego Park--coastal trail
walking down autumn ski slope
at the end of the world (fin del mundo)

South America » Bolivia » La Paz Department » La Paz April 17th 2014

Days 59 Today was a day we have been contemplating for a long time. Would we or could we take on the famous mountain bike trip down the road dubbed “The Death Road” and “The World’s Most Dangerous Road”. Most of this infamy was due to when two-way motor vehicle traffic occurred on the single track road but has now been diverted to an alternate new road and now taken over by adventure seekers. The stars must have been in alignment as we agreed we could do it and the weather was agreeable. We chose Xtreme Down Hill as the tour operator as other Intrepid groups had used them previously with no adverse reviews. Intrepid give no advice on the trip & would prefer no one went. In the end I had the company of 6 ... read more


12 April 2014 – Saturday – Montevideo, Uruguay We saw little of the scenery on our overnight bus journey from Rosario to Montevideo, Uruguay. Even when crossing the border at 4am was more like a highway toll stop than a border crossing. The bus attendant woke us up enough to collect our passports and then returned them to us a few minutes later. It rained throughout the night and we slept much of the journey. When we arrived at the Three Cruces bus station we were met by the bright and bubbly Veronica, whose apartment we were staying in for the four nights. She helped us with the ATM and escorted us to the local bus which deposited us a couple blocks from her apartment. She had been living here with her boyfriend of ten years, ... read more
Montevideo 005
Montevideo 024
Montevideo II 002

South America » Argentina » Salta » Salta April 16th 2014

Due to the original plan being changed regarding the route I was going to take, it meant I had to go back on myself a little bit, which was fine as I don't think you can ever see everything in just a few days. This was certainly true of Copacabana as there was almost half of the town I didn't see previously including a beautiful church and a religious monument on the top of a hill. Shaun, Lanners and I ventured to the top for sunset over Lake Titicaca which would have been lovely had there not been clouds which blocked the final part of the sunset! We also decided to take in some water sports action in the shape of a Donald Duck pedlo which looked ridiculous with 4 adults, some shoddy life jackets and ... read more
La Paz
Lanners overlooking Copacabana
Isla Del Sol beach day

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South America » Argentina » Salta » Salta April 16th 2014

We were all ready and packed and mentally prepared to leave our safe haven in Buenos Aires until it transpired that there wasa national transport strike and nothing was running the day we were due to leave. We booked in to a hostel near where we were staying and just had to suck it up for another night. after an extremely lazy/food filled day and sleep we were on our first bus of the final leg, heading north/inland to the second city of Argentina, Cordoba. 12 hours later we arrived without event, pretty done in from the journey. I wont go on too much about Cordoba because I dont really have much to say about it! A pleasant enough place but I didnt feel so excited by it.. nice churches, plazas and full of universities it ... read more
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South America » Argentina » Salta » Salta April 16th 2014

I liked Salta from the off. It helped that after the frustration of the Argentinean transport strike I was finally on my way again and that after plenty of practice I´d started to get the hang of bus travel Argentina-style. This time it didn´t matter that films were repeated from my journey up to Mendoza a few days previously or that they remained playing long after the coach had decided to call it a night, I just got my head down and slept. As I mentioned in my previous blog Salta would represent a (temporary) change of approach. I´d booked ahead, letting a travel agency in Argentina know my budget and itinerary, so rather than staying in hostels I was now in a pretty nice boutique hotel. The room was spacious and en suite, with mod-cons ... read more
Salta at Dusk - Regional Parliament
Seven Coloured Hill - Purmamarka Gorge
Pucara Del Tilcara

South America April 16th 2014

Day 58 Another 5.30 am alarm to get to the local bus station for a 7 hr trip to La Paz including 1 hr to clear border formalities at Desaguadero On the Peru /Bolivian border. With a full bus most of our group got upgraded to first class & brightened the mood considering the early start. The ride itself was great as it was a very scenic leg of the trip although the bus itself was having a few problems & the air conditioning was not working properly. Leaving Puno we followed Lake Titicaca shimmering in the bright early sun before briefly loosing sight as the road moved away from the coast before reappearing and remaining in view all the way to & over the Bolivian border. Without seeing it it's hard to describe how enormous ... read more
Dressed for dinner
Our home stay host
Stone archway on Taquile Island

South America » Chile » Santiago Region » Santiago April 15th 2014

Tuesday 1st We finish packing and the taxi arrives at 11am to collect us. We suddenly realise we’ve got the time of the flight wrong and it’s not until 4.30 so we’re going to be very early at the airport. Check in goes smoothly and we settle down for the flight to be called and then see we are delayed for another 2 hours. We have 4 hours to wait. Finally we get under way and all goes well on the flight. We arrive at about 2pm earlier than our take off time due to flying west and the International Dateline. We get some useful info at arrivals and pick up the local bus to the city centre for £1.50 each. We now have to find our apartment and it proves difficult as none of the ... read more
Santiago
GAM
Craters on the Moon

South America » Peru » Puno » Lake Titicaca April 15th 2014

Days 56 -57 we had a fun start to the day when our group left our hotel in a convoy of 2 man peddle powered cyclos for a quick trip down to the port for our tour of Lake Titicaca. We were joined by our guide, John, who is an expert in the history & culture for these regional communities. We started out by slow motor boat in dead calm & warm conditions although the water temperature is a constant cold 9-10 deg. After a short cruise our first stop off was to visit the Uros floating islands. The Uros natives originally moved north to Puno thousands of years ago & were happily settled there until the Spanish arrived & who needed a constant supply of slave labour to mine the rich lodes of silver that ... read more
Reed Island - Uros
Floating island structure demonstration
Boat load of new reeds




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